Abstract Human-wildlife conflicts can cause great financial losses and casualties to humans, and also are not beneficial for the protection of wild animals. Tibetan brown bears mainly occur in Western China. Their interactions with local inhabitants reflect typical characteristics of conflicts between large carnivores and humans. We analyzed a total of 172 cases of human-Tibetan brown bear conflict in Qinghai province from 2012 to 2015. We also interviewed 86 local herdsmen, aiming to understand the current situation of human-Tibetan brown bear conflict, grasp the traits and rules of conflicts, and discuss the internal reasons of them. Our results showed that (1) within Qinghai province, the conflicts mainly happened in Yushu and Haixi autonomous prefectures, and were more severe in Zhiduo and Qumalai counties of Yushu autonomous prefecture; (2) the conflicts primarily happened during the period of June and September every year, while there were also a few cases during the bear hibernation period between February and November; (3) typical damages by Tibetan brown bears included destroying houses, eating stored crops, and causing personal casualties; (4) the majority of the interviewees considered the conflicts to be serious, and the government should give appropriate compensation (e.g. money); (5) it was widely acknowledged by the interviewees that bear prevention measures were not sufficient to prevent damages. We suggest that the herders could pay more attention to consolidating and patrolling their house during nomadic days. The scattered families are expected to merge together and arrange appropriate food and fodder for winter. The compensation standards of damage caused by wild animals should be carried out actively. Meanwhile, we also call for further research on Tibetan brown bears so as to obtain enough scientific evidence to alleviate the conflicts between humans and Tibetan brown bears.